The Hairy Man at Semuliki Hot Springs
Got your attention right? There was no hairy man – thank god! But there exists folklore amongst the neighboring tribe of the Semuliki Hot Springs, located in the Rwenzori Mountain area about a Hairy Man that gave birth to the Male Hot Springs. According to the indigenous Bamaga Tribe, the site of the steaming male hot spring is historical. It is said the Bamaga women had gone to fetch firewood from the forest when they sighted a hairy man dressed in bark cloth wielding a spear and moving in a zig-zag formation around that location. The women ran back home to tell their husbands who decided to take him to their homes and subsequently got found him a wife from the same village.
After marrying and living peacefully among the clan, the said man who later became known as Biteete, continued hunting but one time never returned home. After three days, the men went out to search for him and they only found a spear but no traces of the man. It was assumed he had disappeared from the same spot that they originally found him. This site became the male hot spring. They ran back to tell the wife (Nyansimbi) who ran into the forest never to return. In the subsequent search, only her clothes were found. The site where she disappeared would become the female hot spring.
According to legend, this is how the two springs became to be known as the male and female hot springs and to-date the Bamaga believe their female ancestors live beneath the female hot spring while their male ancestors live at the male spring. To this date, the Bamaga Clan will perform annual rituals at the springs to appease their ancestors and because of the deep seated beliefs amongst the various tribes in Uganda, the National Wildlife Authority will grant them access to do so.
However, scientists base the formation of the male and female hot springs on the frequent earth quakes that would happen in the area.
While we were there, we stood at the female hot spring and I thought my bum would burn as my friend Venex fiddled with my camera and phone to take a good photo. We also cooked eggs in the spring water – it takes 2 minutes to boil your food and locals come with picnic’s often to cook and eat their food.
The photos below show our guide Harriet, cooking the eggs and then opening them a few minutes later. I also show photos of the male and female hot springs and you can tell from the steam how hot it was.
The female is the only one with the geysir - guess that's why we are always blowing hot air lol!
The other photo is with Harriet our guide, Venex my friend and tour-guide and Douglas the driver.
This is only one of the stops we will visit on our photo-tour next year. Want to come along? Keep posted as we will be releasing the trip plan and pricing soon.